WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.-Major General Smedley D. Butler
At every turn it seems I am being reminded with how I should grovel with thanks for those who have of their own free will or enslavement under threat fought the various wars this nation’s dear federal government has wanted to fight. Be it the news media or some graphic on social media or elsewhere, it’s all the same lie, that these people fought for us.
I refuse to thank in any shape or form people who went off to kill those who posed no threat to me or my way life or anyone I know in any shape or form. I refuse to thank those who helped carry out wars that were used as justifications to steal more of our wealth.
The wars the US government has sent people off to in the last two centuries have had absolutely nothing to do with our liberty, our freedom, our property, or anything else that the common American enjoys or used to enjoy before it was taken away by the government so that the ‘enemy’ couldn’t take it away from us.
It sickens me that people are so ignorant that they actually believe killing sheep herders in Afghanistan has some relation to their prosperity or liberty. I suppose it might if they worked for the government or a military contractor, but other than that, it’s pure cow dung.
There is nobody to be thanked for my freedom or what’s left of it. Hitler wouldn’t have invaded the USA and the empire of Japan would not have attacked if it wasn’t for FDR’s provocation. War war two would not have happened at all if it hadn’t been for the US federal government getting involved in Europe’s Great War.
I don’t think we even need to discuss the wars for insider profit that have occurred since 1946. Many authors have made clear the real reasons for these wars and our liberty, our prosperity was never at risk except from the very government that sent our people to them to fight and die.
So I will enjoy my day off but it comes at no thanks to those who were conscripted or volunteered out of a lie. If I thank anyone that ‘served’ it is General Butler and all the veterans that had the guts to speak the truth and admit the truth instead of doubling down on the illusion.
If you need to thank a military veteran, thank these guys:
http://www.ivaw.org/ ( http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=8669857&pid=8669859 ) Not for what they did in the military, but for having the conviction to break free of the illusion and stand up against war.
at least Mike Bost in the Illinois House is sick of it.
Whenever I hear about how much I owe to those who “defend my freedom,” “keep me free,” “ensure the freedoms I take for granted,” or any of the other tired old cliches, I look around at the ruins of “freedom” and wonder how folks can take in the same scenery and reach such a wildly different conclusion.
Sometimes I wonder aloud how a group of people who have done such a colossal shit job at these things for which they demand my respect can do so with a straight face, but this can be very hazardous to your health in the wrong setting. It is after all perhaps the most sacred canon of the American religion.
I mean seriously, take a look around at the sorry state of your “freedom.” It would be side-splittingly hilarious if it weren’t so sad.
Yup – and in about five weeks, we’ll be going through the motions again…. celebrating “our freedoms” with fireworks we’re not allowed to buy or handle ourselves, after being randomly frisked and screened… then stopped afterward as we drive home, at a “safety” checkpoint… well, you know the drill.
BrentP, as a not so proud / feeling pretty duped vet myself, thanks for the great article. Eric – At least out here in Missour-uh, we can still buy fireworks (at specified times of the year only) and shoot them off ourselves. We just have to make damned sure we buy them with a credit or debit card and don’t use cash:
At least “fireworks” isn’t on the DHS suspicious words list just yet:
So tell me again where all this freedom is that our vets have supposedly preserved for us? I would be willing to thank some American vets for their service in defense of my Liberty, but I understand that all of the former Confederate soldiers are long dead now.
Hard to believe but Michigan just started allowing us mundanes to buy actual fireworks and ride without a helmet. Small steps to be sure, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. We also passed Medical Mary Jane and made it much easier to obtain a concealed weapons permit. Plus we can own a fully auto of any kind made prior to 1985 (I think that’s the cut off)You still need a class 3 federal firearms permit. Again small steps and still a pain in the ass but at least a step in the right direction.
My dream gun. The mini gun at 30 seconds in.
Great comment, That One Guy. I have been thinking that “the troops” who are defending my freedom must be total incompetents, because while they are off killing goat herders in Afghanistan, while “defending” Germany and Japan and Korea and Italy and Spain and Iraq and etc., my freedom has all but disappeared. When are they going to actually defend our freedom?
The answer, of course, is “Never”. They are tools of the state, and will crush us when the state tells them to. The whole concept of the military defending our freedom is a huge lie.
TOG.. Most of the population feels they haven’t lost anything. In their conformity they really haven’t, yet. Freedom to them is defined as choosing to do the same as everyone else and for everyone else to be just like them.
They never test freedom by being different and then when someone suffers for doing so they feel it is deserved.
Boothe, thanks. It was just a quick little thing out of annoyance, which has only grown since. Hopefully it will die back until July as Eric pointed out.
Brad, sounds like Michigan might be trying to turn the economy around. But a fireworks ban in Michigan is about as useless as it is in Illinois. WI and IN both have their borders lined with fireworks stores.
BrentP – The observation about fireworks for sale ‘over the border’ is hilarious. I was in Russellville, Arkansas a few years ago for a job interview when I discovered (much to my chagrin) that it’s in a “dry county” (Pope). We had to drive to Conway County for booze. Right across the county line was the biggest liquor store I think I’ve ever seen. The place was the size of small super market! I’ll bet the owners of that establishment hope they never repeal prohibition in Pope County. It’s the same as the Boston dope grower interview I read some time ago. He said he hoped they never legalize pot because he’d go broke! I don’t understand how so many of my fellow countrymen fail to see the way government intervention at any level screws up practically everything it touches. Rather than admitting it was government Snake Oil that got us into the mess we’re in, altogether too many of our “peers” ask for a bigger dose! It never ceases to amaze me.
I don’t get it either… The billboards for the fireworks places start well before the state lines. However, the solution for these would be controllers is just to federalize everything. Which is why one of the early steps was to go to the direct election of senators. To make senators creatures of DC instead of creatures of state government.
Indeed BrentP, indeed. As I understand it, each U.S. Senator was supposed to be their respective State’s representative; appointed by, answerable to and subject to recall by their State legislature. So if enough of us got disgusted with a Senator, we would have been able to take our state representative to task (with whom a smaller portion of the citizenry has clout) and (potentially) have the offending Senator removed prior to the Seventeenth Amendment.
The House members were to be solely the “popularly elected” representatives of “the people.” Back in Col. Davy Crockett’s day, when there were only 213 representatives for roughly 12.9 million Americans, one disenchanted and credible man in a community could stir up enough dissent to take down an incumbent congress critter. Hence, the House was intentionally put in control of the purse; thereby providing the people with a means to control taxation, defund unpopular initiatives and prevent unjust wars. As we now see, with a population of about 310 million split up amongst 435 congress critters, the U.S. House members have essentially become unreachable at the individual level. The Senators are of course 4.35 times less reachable than the House.
Isn’t it fascinating how the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments as well as the Federal Reserve Act all came into being the same year; 1913? So we have the self destructive seeds of “democracy” sown (i.e. the masses now better able to vote in crooks that will loot the treasury) alongside the banksters’ evil dream of unmitigated legal counterfeiting. On top of that, they set up their collection agency (the IRS) to skim off enough excess funny-money and return it to their coffers to forestall hyperinflation for decades. Pretty good plan…for them, except it can’t last forever. This system is just like taking all your friends out for an all night bender at the local bar with your credit card. The “morning after” is inevitable; the bar tab and the hangover from the last 99 years are going to be pure hell.
Excellent. Really well-said, Boothe.
Of course you’re a foil-hatted crazy conspiracy theorist for thinking the IRS is the Fed’s collection arm. You probably also believe the Fed is a private banking cartel mostly foreign-owned, or that fiat money is meant to bleed off the profits of increasing productivity keeping us all on the hamster-wheel of slavery forever.
And of course it can go on forever. The recovery is coming along nicely; there are green shoots everywhere.
Methyl, I think those “green shoots” are the cover foliage they’re planting around the FEMA camps…err…I mean “closed hospitality centers”…to hide the concertina wire. Now where is that roll of aluminum foil? I know I just had it…
BrentP said :Most of the population feels they haven’t lost anything.
This is what puzzles me. To me it seems that damn near everyone thinks they’re being robbed by someone else and are being smothered in one way or another. My conservative family foams at the mouth whenever the subject of welfare transfer payments come up. My dad can’t stand that he has to pay the state for a license to exercise the “privilege” of sport fishing, one each for freshwater, saltwater, shellfish, and has to pay regional transit authority tax on the trailer that carries his 14-foot Lund to and from the boat ramp once a week from April to September.
On the flip side of that, the liberals I know are always up in arms over the F-35 program, police brutality, banker bailouts…both sides are right. The biggest con ever was to get these factions to look around and say it’s “the liberals” or “the conservatives” who are doing these things to them, not “the government.” I think your average American is nearing a point that will get him off his ass and ready to make moves to effect change. The problem is he’s going to go bust heads at a Tea Party or OWS rally because he still doesn’t get who it is that’s kicking him in the ass.
They don’t think they’ve lost any freedom. Cash sure.. freedom not so much. One of the favorite debate moves I’ve seen is to ask the libertarian(ish) person what freedom they’ve lost since 9-11 and how things like the patriot act personally effected them. Then from there move into the ‘but it keeps us safe’ and ‘you weren’t prevented from’ and ‘well don’t fly’ and ultimately ‘love it or leave it’. It’s that we have the freedom to be like everyone else. They oppose any of us exercising freedom if we choose differently.
Which brings us to how they just fight amongst themselves about the political spoils. It’s how the debate is shaped. Like you say, it’s the other team that did the stealing. Their way is the right way, the other way is the wrong way. Their spending is good the other spending is bad. It’s really much the same thing except the divide becomes much smaller.
Then there are the people who will complain about government this and government that and when someone like myself suggests that the government not have these powers they will turn and defend the need to have a state. And they’ll pull out all the stops to do it too. Eventually the only way to deal with this type is to tell them that this is the government they wanted each time they complain about how it decides.
As the pie of spoils gets smaller they will probably fight each other.
Gorvernment Murder # 1,343,567,533
Nah Tor, this is one of the latest ones, happened in the last ten years or so.
So that would put it in the high 200 millions, something like:
Governments have killed, conservatively, 262 million people in the last 100 years. Organized nation-states are the most lethal single institution on earth.
People who are shocked that I’m an anarcho-capitalist mewl “but if there’s no government, criminal gangs would take over and murder people for profit!”
I say, bring it on. They can’t possibly be as lethal as the current criminal gangs…because the current criminal gang operates under the lethal delusion of consent.
Just remember that paradise is exactly like where you are right now only much much better.
I wonder how many have been killed going back as far as records are kept, or civilizations are dug up and analyzed?
The myth of country provides a great cover for what terrible beings we really are versus who we tell ourselves we are to get through the day.
Believing there really is such a thing as America serves as a culture-wide justification hypothesis for the unresolved cognitive dissonance that occurs when we preach one thing and practice another.
The reality of who I am is a conniving self-serving little bastard whose core proficiency is to maintain at all costs the facade of what a benefit I am to those I love, desire, or need something from.
In the end, you only lie to yourself and weaken your chain of reasoning by subscribing to the bunk of the war soap opera industry.
No matter how nobly one performs the operation of subtraction and division, one never increases through these processes, but only loses or wastes their time and remains the same.
Youtube vid and first page of comments from someone who dares not raise their hand in a zeig heil
Chris Hayes – MSNBC Uncomfortable Calling Them Heroes
I’m uncomfortable calling you an American Chris…what a loser
When this country goes into its next civil war,cowardly, non-serving pieces of fucking shit like this will be the first people that need to be “talked” to. No wonder nobody watches this communist, homosexually infested lost cause of a network. Fuck you Hayes, GTFO of my country.
People who volunteer for the armed forces are not automatically heroes. Sorry. Hayes, save these comments for the underground. The masses are not ready for them.
Chris Hayes is not just an idiot, he’s a pussy. That’s one of the problems in this country … not enough real men & too many pussies
Dear Chris Hayes you feel uncomfortable calling are soldiers hero’s Then GET THE FUCK out of this country. I hope msnbc does the right thing and fires this douchebag
If George Soros is going to hire a domestic terrorist who led a string of bombings in the 70’s to terrorize and coerce conservative bloggers into silence then he will not fire this piece of shit.
As a kid in college who is one day from Air Force Field Training, watching this video made me so stricken with anger that I actually watered up a little from grief.
THESE MEN AND WOMEN ARE HEROES BECAUSE THEY HAVE FOUGHT AND DIED TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR YOU!
I don’t give a shit if they died from friendly fire. They have more courage and backbone in their farts than this man’s body. If you can’t call them heroes get the FUCK out of my country you pretentious asshole!
ANYBODY THAT BEATS THIS PILE OF SHITS ASS IF YOU SEE HIM OUT IS A HERO. Write letters. call. email. NBC and get him FIRED. this scummbag wouldent stop an old lady from getting hit by a bus if there was a danger of scuffing his shoe. F^CKING PUSSY!
Critical listening skillz–how do they work? Did you people even hear what Hayes actually said? He argued that words like “heroism”, “valor”, etc. when ostensibly used to describe soldiers, tend to be rhetorically elided with the wars themselves, so that an aura of sanctity is conferred on what in reality is a bloody, dirty business, more often than not fought on behalf of corporate interests.
Hayes is a jerk…. Anyone who serves in uniform is a hero even if they went to war or not. Just the fact that they sacrifice freedoms while in uniform that civilians take for granted says a lot…
I respect the opinion of Mr. Hayes, but i also respect the memory of the thousands of dead Heroes of our military who paid for this knucklehead’s right to to his opinion. I am a military brat, and if my dad had died overseas defending our country, i would either have the extreme pleasure of beating him to a pulp, or writing msnbc to have him fired.
American SA – and SA supporters. Turgid, militaristic thugs. My country – right or wrong. Heil, mein Fuhrer!
I am a vet, US Army Infantry. I served mutlitple deployments. I don’t want to hear one person thank me for my service. What I thought was service was BS. I was a dupe plain and simple. The only thing I served was corporate interests. Who in the hell wants to be thanked for being a dumbass for years?
Days like this piss me off, just like veterans day and the fourth of July. Jerkwads out waving their flags who never served a day and never intend to but have no problem sending kids off to kill and be killed all for “God and Country” God and Country my ass. You want to protect your country keep a well stocked arsenal and keep in practice.
Furthermore, I also get tired of hearing how some Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers think they are war hero’s. I swear to God they are the worst. Putting their uniforms on and parading themselves around for attention. That and the assholes that give you some bullshit excuse about how they just couldn’t go but they support the war and of course would have kicked ass if they had gone. They probably sit around and jack off thinking that if they had gone they would taken everyone out single handedly.
As for the fallen, wounded, and messed up they have my condolenses along with their family members. I even volunteer to help vets with addictions and suicidal thoughts.
I actually wonder what most REMFS and I woulda been a hero types do for vets besides wave the flag a few times a year?
Brad Smith, proud member of Veterans for Peace.
Good on you Brad.
I suspect many of the vets who feel suicidal are still trapped in cognitive dissonance–unable to express the nagging doubt that what they did was wrong. That they were suckered.
If they were able to break past the programming and realize they’d been had, I bet they wouldn’t feel suicidal anymore. They’d feel pissed–and rightly so.
@Brent: that video of the vets throwing their medals is excellent, I hadn’t seen it yet. Some powerful speeches too.
Cognitive dissonance is a hard nut to crack. All these people holding two completely opposing thoughts in their heads. I often wonder how anyone can be an Obama supporter without going off the deep end. On the one hand they claim to be anti-war and on the other they intend to vote for a war hawk. They claim to believe for civil liberties yet they are going to go out and vote for a man who signed NDAA, continued the Patriot act ect. The level of denial and spin in their heads must be incredible.
I had a very disappointing conversation with two of my closest friends and my sister in-law of some 30 years, who I could easily drop the “in-law” from. All three were at my house for dinner the day after Obama sent the cruise missiles into Libya. All three were dyed in the wool, 1960’s veteran hippie peace activists. I’m talking son’s and daughters of the SDS. Serious Obama lovers who voted for peace.
First I complained about killing people who hadn’t attacked the US. They made noises about Lockerbie, I suppose they might have just as well raised the Kennedy assassination as a justification; certainly Libya could have been involved? Then I mentioned a CNN report that put the cost of the ongoing slaughter at about $100 million per day. They questioned my sources and suggested the real number was probably somewhere between $50 and $70 million.
When I asserted that you just don’t start bombing another country without provocation, they said it depended on why you were doing it.
I gave up. It was clear they loved their President and he could not do anything wrong.
I have two just like that in my family as well. When it was The Chimp in charge, they were full of outrage about “unnecessary wars.” Now that it’s their chimp, all wars are necessary wars.
Brad, thanks for your earlier comment. The repeated BS of the weekend was irritating me considerably and I am glad I am not the only one and there are people who went through the mess that think similarly.
Holding the dual political concepts. I think I have that figured out. I believe there are just a few basic ways that most end up doing it.
One is that they put their political team first. That is they first need to have their team in office, who cares about what the team actually does. The next is ‘it’s ok when we do it’. Their sense of team tells them they are good guys. So when a democrat will send us to the camps we can trust he will only send the ‘bad people’ there while a republican wouldn’t. Vice versa for the other team. Meanwhile neither can figure out the next election might be handing that power to the other team.
The third is simply illusion. Much like the second. They simply believe those in government won’t do bad things. They need the powers to protect us from ‘bad people’.
The short time horizons, the emotional thinking, etc and so forth. I don’t know if it is human nature or conditioning or conditioning exploiting human nature. But people have been behaving like that for centuries and it needs to stop.
Eric, the thing that galls me the most is that I just can’t win for losing. I have a Ron Paul ’08 sticker on my truck so I’m branded a Republican, doesn’t matter that I spent 8 solid years railing against Shrub’s lunacy or that I actually had to live in the same small town Darth Cheney claimed as residence and regularly bitched about his Secret Service people occupying the local dry cleaners.
Now Shrub and Darth are off somewhere in Texas sipping boat drinks, I get to take crap for being a suspected Republican *again* when I criticize Barry!
There is no rest for the wicked.
Don’t get me started on family and politics. I can write off strangers as idiots and make peace with it somewhat; I mean, it’s still going to destroy the country, but it’s not as personal.
Family living with “doublethink”, however, is another matter.
An extremely smart female cousin, a lawyer, is one of that breed of Obama supporters who screech their support. I am not exaggerating; she will actually SCREECH when confronted. It is absolutely no different than a hard-core Hare Krishna who’s spent a year being sleep-deprived, fed almost no protein, and brainwashed 24/7. Breaking the trance is so painful they can’t bare it.
I told her she’s brainwashed, because she can’t apply her reasoning to it. I tried to reframe it; I said “let’s talk about a hypothetical ruler, call him Oz, of a faraway place like Narnia….” and so on; and in my story I had Oz of Narnia do exactly as Obama has done–just without using the words “America” or “Obama”.
She was able to see that Oz of Narnia was a son-of-a-bitch and a tyrant.
Switch back to Obama.
It’s a cult of personality; and it’s the most effective brainwashing I’ve ever seen. Hare Krishnas are easier to deprogram.
I’d love to see the inside details of how all the brainwashing works. Alex Jones has alluded to it from his visits to various “media labs” at UT Austin…but if my smart cousin can be this far gone, it might as well be full-blown mind control.
Reflexive white guilt accounts for some of this. Americans have been beaten over the head with the race-guilt cudgel for decades and it has achieved remarkable results in terms of silencing any criticism of any black for any reason – for to do so is obviously racist, implicitly at least. It’s an awful, uncomfortable truth – but the truth nonetheless.
The question to deprogramming may be, why are we immune to one degree or another?
Some of us the conditioning just plain didn’t work. We were resistant as children. I didn’t have exposure to Rothbard, Bastiat, etc until I was well over 30 years old. But I already thought that way. Such things only clarified my though, gave clues where I needed them, erased some of the conditioning that did take. Prior to discovering LRC, etc I just figured I was alone.
Some other people have an event or experience that turns on the light. Seeing the reality in the military, a run in with a particularly bad cop, finding the government won’t even bother with the most simple protection of persons and property, etc and so on.
Mentioning your tyrant Oz reminds me of how I’ve had to explain the deeper meaning of science fiction to some people. They cannot make the conceptual connections required to understand the relationships between things. It’s pretty obvious to me why the classics of “Twilight Zone” and the rest got on the air. The censors couldn’t make the conceptual jump.
So how to spread the immunity?
Brad, thanks for having the courage and thoughtfulness to say these things.
I wish there were more like you – and a lot less like Dick Cheney, Billy Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, George Bush and Barry Sotero.
As a former Marine officer, I can tell you that the Corps is fond of describing Smedley Butler’s heroics in full, but never ever mentions “War Is a Racket”. Wonder why?
I am not proud of having been part of the military, and it grates on me when someone says “Thank you for your service.” Service to what? During my entire tenure in the military, the US government stole from the American people, occupied foreign lands, and killed people. I’d feel much better if people said “Shame on you for your service.” At least then, I could agree with them.
I’m also former military, US Army Infantry. I also hate being told “thanks for your service” I joined thinking I would be of service, but I was in fact a dupe. Who wants to be thanked for being a dupe?
got that right, Brad. And Smedley Butler expressed that far better than we can, though we feel it maybe as much as he did.
The part people fail to recognize, about ole Smedley, is that this back sliding Quaker was in on the empires atrocities in the Phillipines and elsewhere and yet in all that time he never QUIT. Why is that? After he bailed with his pension and time in grade he then wrote his screed but it irritates me to no end that this fella could spend decades being a killer and not make the connection. Did he ever say he should never have enlisted? Nope! Did he ever turn down the stolen goodies to pay for his adventures and later retirement? Nope! All with a glance backwards to his handiwork and all around the time he was trying to get into congress no less! How convenient.
He wrote it none the less. And because he wrote it, it is the only thing that I know of that I can present that shuts down the nonsense arguments.
If I just used my own words I would need to deal with the nonsense that I never “served”, the nonsense of not being patriotic, the nonsense of not having a close family member dying for “the country” and so on. The typical Non sequitur stuff. General Butler’s words shut that down immediately. In fact it works so well that I don’t get any of that BS from anyone when I cite “War is a Racket”.
These people worship “heroes” like Butler, so they apparently end up with at least some conflict of thought and can’t form a response. Hopefully it forces some to think.
As to Butler personally. I don’t know. When a person “wakes up” and to what degree usually depends on when they are exposed to something that changes their line of thought. We don’t know what caused the change in Butler. Only that it happened at some point. As to pension and political aspirations, some people don’t wake up to everything. Realizing the scam of war is a big jump though. Few even seem to get that far. Perhaps he went to expose it all simply because he felt shortchanged knowing it was a racket all along. We can only guess… but we know it’s true, war is a racket and truth is good enough for me.
You know I went to junior and high school on Camp Butler in Okinawa. It was named after the general you quoted. Weird…